Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday Swoons (or The One With All The Colourful Ships)

Yes, I am –
a) Alive
b) Aware that today isn’t a Sunday
c) Fully conscious of the fact that this post was supposed to have happened two weeks back

By Skylar Finn 

If you didn't know already, Sunday Swoons is the weekly feature where Skylar @ Life of a Random and Briana @ Reader, Writer, Critic talk about normal swoon-y stuff everyone can relate to.

But Briana and Skylar were very understanding (for which they have earned mountains of virtual chocolate) and extended the deadline for linking this sorry too-late post of mine. But surprisingly I had a lot to talk about this – Diversity in Literary Relationships.

While Skylar tackled diversity in races and Briana talked about diversity in religions – (which you should totally read) I am going to mix it up.

There aren’t that many books that I can claim to have read which feature diverse relationships. These are some books that feature ships in international waters but don’t have their love life as the plot –

1) The Legend series – Marie Lu

Marie Lu did an amazing thing with the ethnicity of The Republic. She says that since it is set in a post-apocalyptic world, people should have mixed ethnicity. While Day is dominantly Mongolian, June is a mix of Native and others.

2) Heroes of Olympus – Rick Riordan

LEO AND CALYPSO. JASON AND PIPER. (And if Miss J is to be believed – NICO AND WILL)

3) The Kane Chronicles – Rick Riordan

CARTER AND ZARA. SADIE AND ANUBIS (who happens to be the Egyptian god of death with kohl-rimmed eyes and if author is to be believed DROP DEAD GORGEOUS AND HKUSFSIGFAZADSEY)

4) The Mediator series – Meg Cabot


These ships do go into their diverse backgrounds, but it is not the case in point –

1) Prisoner of Night and Fog – Anne Blankman

Gretchen Muller is German and Daniel Cohen is Jewish. Throw them against the backdrop of the Third Reich and you get your plot.

2) The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd

Lily and Zachary Lincoln Taylor - they are so made for each other – with all the hurt and anger inside and out – and you’re like - 

And you sigh when they finally do.

3) Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell

There’s your diversity – right there in the title.

4) Ghosting – Edith Pattou

Anil’s girlfriend is the Official Most Beautiful. And he is still surprised by that fact. But then he meets Max with her camera and shyness and he is unsure about how to proceed along those lines. He also talks about the kind of expectations he has to meet, courtesy of his family of doctors. Then tragedy (aka the plot point) strikes and … I’m not telling anymore.

Now I’m not going into explicit detail, but here’s the deal – short and sweet. Here, where I live, when you marry a person, you marry his/her entire family as well. You aren’t allowed to date, have any sort of romantic relationship, live under the same roof before marriage (society hyperventilates around that sort of talk), or divorce – marry – repeat. Your parents fix the deal for you – with which you can agree or disagree. Obviously, DIVERSITY IS A HUGE NO – NO. (There are a lot of pros and cons with this and I am NOT going to talk about it – I just set the scene here). I can predict winds of change brewing though. Slow but sure enough.

Now we all know what happened to Adam and Eve and the biblical forbidden apple.  This Forbidden Apple Syndrome has reflected a lot in Indian literature (but even more so in Indian cinema, especially for hormone-driven teens) so there’s no shortage of diverse couples (or as diverse it’s practically possible). Here are some examples (that I have read) with links to their Goodreads blurbs -

(Crap, I can’t think of anything else. Since my knowledge in general chick-lit and Indian –English lit is limited, I have failed in compiling a trustworthy list. )

This post has gotten absurdly long. I’m stopping.

What do you think? All those in favour of more colourful ships? 

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